Thursday, December 11, 2008

More Proof That The Spacehopper Was Being Distributed By Mettoy In The UK In The Late 1960s...

An advertisement from the "Cambridge Evening News", England, November 1969.

Now, you already know what I think of the BBC's 1970s rewriting exercises. And particularly regarding things like the spacehopper - released in the UK around 1968, but according to the Beeb in "1971":

Space Hoppers - also known as Hoppity Hops, Hop Ball, and Kangaroo Balls - bounced into the UK during the Summer of ’71 and served absolutely no useful purpose whatsoever.

Below is pictured some details from a British Toy Fair brochure from January 1969 - and amongst other jolly things attending was the SPACEHOPPER!

The British Toy Fair At Brighton, 26-30 January 1969 - and (left) a page from the brochure. Mettoy was the original Space hopper distributor. Below the word "Mettoy" on the brochure page, to the left, you'll see that the spacehopper itself was present at the show.

Meanwhile, back in our own world of pathetic 70s hype, the BBC's lies about the spacehopper have infected the Toy Retailers Association and just about everything else.

And so we exalt in the radiant light of another (false) 70s-debuting object.

Why don't I simply tell the Beeb? I've tried. I even tried to get a researcher to come and look through my local newspaper archive at some of the evidence. But nobody can be bothered. And meanwhile our licence fee goes towards the BBC leaving false information mothballed online.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Philip Glenister - "Shut Up You 70s Hyping Twit!"

Or would Jack Regan have said "shart up!" No matter. Stood in WH Smith's in Cambridge yesterday, I had the grave misfortune to riffle through Things Ain't What They Used To Be - a book by Philip Glenister - apparently if you're going on a nostalgia trip you couldn't ask for a better guide.

Well, perhaps not if he was writing about the 1990s or something, but Mr Glenister's knowledge of the '70s and '80s is (completely in tune with the production team on Life On Mars and Ashes To Ashes) somewhat muddled - and he has, you guessed it, an alarming tendency to hype the '70s. They become GASP - almost 60s! Jason King - "a dandy for the 1970s" says Mr G - but didn't he originate in the 1960s series Department S? Were we all using fancy burbling coffee machines in the UK in the 1950s? No. But Mr Glenister infers that we were.

Yes, it's good to get steamed up about Thatcher - but why don't you make your voice known in modern day politics, Mr Glenister? After all, New Labour is far from Old Labour, far from Socialist - what about the scandal of nursing and care staff forced to sign secrecy clauses? If they speak up about the HUGE cutbacks imposed by UK Government organisations like Supporting People and the Primary Care Trusts, they get the sack. What about looking into something like that, which is so typical of the sleight of hand politics happening under New Labour?

But no, Mr Glenister, that's too much like hard work, isn't it? Finding out what's going on today and going into battle? Better to sound off about the 1980s, eh? And if the governing party has "Labour" in its title, then all's well - regardless of the fact that the party bears no resemblance to Old Labour and are creating a country which make the 1980s look like happy valley?

Sadly Mr Glenister's book is a load of cobblers. He rants on politically at times like it's 1982 or 1984 and at other times doesn't know 1967 from 1973 or 1978 from 1983.

His politics are out of touch, lost in the '80s, dead and gone left wing. Completely irrelevant to the modern day. And pop culturally he seems to believe "I Love The 1970s", which hugely raided the 1960s and 1980s. And what about Life On Mars itself, set in 1973, and featuring a two-tone red trimphone which was not available until 1982? Ridiculous. More here.

Buy the book if you're a Glenister fan. But remember it's a personal view and if it's an accurate and objective view of the '70s and '80s you want, avoid.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Matthew Lee At Zeta Minor - 70s Hyper...

Here's some 1970s hyping by Matthew Lee at Zeta Minor, concerning the late actor Maurice Colbourne of Howards' Way:

However, whilst he was entirely fulfilled in his ambitions, it would prove to be his television work during the 1970s which would elevate his presence in the public's mind.

Colbourne soon secured top billing in two series of Philip Martin's gritty BBC Television serial, Gangsters, which spawned from a Play For Today. Such was the impact this series made on British television that Colbourne enjoyed a regular stream of work thereafter, and whilst not in an entirely leading capacity, he enjoyed appearances in Van Der Valk (Everybody Does It), Return of The Saint (Duel in Venice), The Day of The Triffids and Johnny Jarvis, to name three stand-out productions, before landing the role of Tom Howard.

Note that two of the series mentioned - The Day of The Triffids (1981) and Johnny Jarvis (1983) are 1980s series, not 1970s. And as a regular TV viewer in the 1970s and 1980s I can honestly say it was the splendid Howards' Way series which "elevated his (Mr Colbourne's) presence" in my mind. In fact I adored the show.

Basically, Matthew Lee, it's just another totally unneccessary mention of the 1970s, isn't it, dear? Does writing those digits comfort you in some way?

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

What's It All About, Alfie?

Yes, I know Alfie was actually a 60s film - but that wouldn't bother a lot of "70s" researchers...

Hi, folks! My name is Maria Mitchell. I'm 50 years old, and live in Cambridgeshire, England.

What's this 'ere blog about, then?

Basically, over the last ten years or so, I've been hearing youngsters (including my own children) spouting rather a lot of hot air about a certain decade sandwiched between the 1960s and 1980s - yes, you know the one!

Fuelled by pop culture shows like I Love The 1970s, these youngsters live in a world of fantasy - a 70s of no tears, no trouble - with all the fads and fun of the 1967-1985 era crammed in.

I find this slightly worrying. In my day, kids were interested in politics, the current day - out there spouting opinions on anything and everything. Nowadays, youngsters live in a retro wonderland of nonsense, created by the likes of the BBC.

This blog is intended to be fun. I find 70s adoration amusing as well as worrying and the decade certainly had its funny side, but it's mainly designed to prick the 70s bubble and, hopefully, get youngsters and the youngsters of the 70s to think a little about what that decade was REALLY like and perhaps take a look at how things are now.

Friday, January 18, 2008

CORRIEBLOG - More 70's Nonsense

Corrieblog is fine, but like so many sites guilty of 70s hyping trash. For instance, it states that the 1970s were the "heyday" of slow burning character development. Didn't that happen in the '80s, too (Audrey, Alma?) didn't it happen in the 90s (Raquel?).

The development of Ivy and Vera as characters was not planned!

Corrieblog stop it. The Street was in serious trouble for over half the 70s, with the ratings dropping disasterously and the Street limping along on a diet of romantic Barbara Cartland style twaddle or thoroughly miserable, unwatchable storylines. It wasn't until the arrival of Bill Podmore in 1976 that things began to pick up and the Street began to regain some of its magic, so tragically lost after the 60s.

I'll wager the majority of Corrieblog writers don't even remember the 70s - or were just little kids at the time!